Please. God. No.

I am not a big fan of Jamie Kirchick's. Kirchick, for those of you who don't habitually refresh the screen over at The Plank to see if anyone's replied to your comments, is an assistant editor over at The New Republic. His pieces, even when I agree with the content and analysis, are often marred by a snide, self-congratulatory arrogance that makes him difficult to read and even more difficult to like.

That being said, I can think of no more appropriate a target for Kirchick's particular brand of arch contempt than Perez Hilton, famous blogger, famewhore and homosexual. Kirchick (who is himself gay) writes in The Advocate:
The latest scandal involving flamboyant celebrity blogger Perez Hilton presents us with as good an opportunity as any to ask a question that gays have long been reluctant to broach: Namely, how has this half-literate typist been elevated from his day job of spewing Internet hatred to become one of the most prominent gay people in the country -- and the national face of a civil rights movement, no less?
Ta-Nehisi Coates frequently writes about the frustration of seeing men like Al Sharpton held up as spokespeople for black America as a whole. (In Sharpton's case, largely because of his self-promotion in that regard.) On the one hand, I think having a charismatic gay man or lesbian as a figurehead for the gay rights movement would be helpful in some regards. (Confidential to the overlords coordinating the Gay Agenda: I will work for scale, and clean up relatively well.) On the other hand, if a thoroughly witless and repellent creature like Perez Hilton is the best we can offer, then I'll do without a "national face," thanks all the same.

Hilton (nee Mario Lavandeira) first came to prominence with an eponymous gossip website, wherein he offers up gossip that is equal parts salacious and brainless. He came to whatever prominence he enjoys as a spokesperson when he did the gay rights movement the inestimable favor of asking Carrie Prejean (quondam Miss California) what her thoughts on same-sex marriage were, then excoriating her on his blog for giving the wrong answer. (In short, she's agin' it.) He thus created a right-wing media martyr in her, and made himself into some kind of ambassador for gay rights, albeit one many of us would never have asked for and would prefer to have disappear promptly.

Hilton has since gotten himself into hot water for calling will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas a "faggot" for some idiotic reason or another, and then getting himself punched in the face for it. Frankly, it's too tedious to relate here, and Kirchick goes into sufficient detail in his article, so I would just as soon have you read about it there. Suffice it to say, Hilton cashiered whatever credibility he had as a gay spokesperson with the incident, but that didn't stop The Advocate from putting him on their cover.

Look, I don't expect gay people or lesbians to conform to some perceived notion of bland acceptability before they can meaningfully speak up for our community, any more than any other minority group is expected to make themselves acceptable to the majority. But, for the love of [Insert Theatrical Grande Dame Here], I would ask that any self-appointed ambassador for our interests be, at the very least, a person of integrity, intelligence and good faith. None of which, sadly, applies to Perez Hilton.


  1. The Advocate forfeited their credibility when they put Katy Perry on the cover. (Or many years before that. Whichever.)

  2. This is the only tolerable thing I've read from Kirchick in years of accidentally reading his stuff on the Plank before I noticed his byline.